welcomed the appointment of
Sri Lankan girl with Down syndrome receives temporary visa to live in Australia after Peter Dutton intervenes
Caitlyn Gribbin, ABC News online, 12 February 2016
A Sri Lankan girl who made headlines after being refused a temporary visa because she has Down syndrome will be allowed to live in Australia, after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton intervened in her case.
Eliza Fonseka, nine, also found an unexpected ally in former Australian cricket captain Greg Chappell, who advocated for her to be granted the visa ...
Down Syndrome Australia – Media Release, 12 February 2016
Ruth Webber, CEO Down Syndrome Australia
DSA Welcomes Minister Dutton’s Intervention, however people with disability organisations call for removal of exemptions to the Migration Act.
Down Syndrome Australia joins with the Fonseka family in thanking the Minister for Immigration, Peter Dutton, for his intervention that will allow Eliza Fonseka to come to Australia with the rest of her family.
Angelo Fonseka was granted a Religious Worker Visa by the Department of Immigration to work with the community of Shark Bay in Western Australia. His wife and one of his children were also granted visas to come to Australia. However, his daughter Eliza was not allowed to join them – because she has Down syndrome.
“It is time for this cruel discrimination to end,” the Chairperson of Down Syndrome Australia, Angus Graham said today. “The Fonseka family has been forced to live apart for too long. Mr Fonseka has been working in Western Australia, while his wife and children have remained in Sri Lanka. The only other option open to them was for Mrs Fonseka and one of their children to join Angelo in Australia and leave their daughter behind.”
“While we welcome this decision, Down Syndrome Australia joins with other disability organisations in calling for the current exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act to be removed from the Migration Act,” Ruth Webber, CEO of Down Syndrome Australia said.
“Down Syndrome Australia and the Fonseka family are extremely grateful for the widespread support we have received from the Western Australian community, WA federal members of parliament and community and sporting organisations. We would particularly like to also thank Minister and WA Senator Michaelia Cash.”
“However, it should never have come to this.”
“Legislation that allows the Department of Immigration to separate families by discriminating against people with disability should have no place in our society.”